A favourite wee hill: Meall a’ Bhuachaille

Last weekend I led a small group up the lovely wee hill above Glenmore, Meall a Bhuachaille.

I really enjoy this walk as it takes you through a variety of habitats and gives superb views of the Cairngorm mountains from the summit.

I usually choose to ascend this from Glenmore and descend to Ryvoan bothy, with a walk out along the Ryvoan Pass. The first part of the ascent leads up beside a small wooded burn and past spurce plantations. The Forestry Commission are gradually removing the non-native spruce trees and replanting with native Scots Pine, birch and willow.

Up through the forest above Glenmore

It’s not long before you get above the tree line and with views down to Loch Morlich below.

Above the tree line

Glenmore Forest and Loch Morlich

Looking north from the summit gives views to Loch Gartan and Boat of Garten.

Meall a' Bhuachaille summit view north

Coming down the SE flank it’s always nice to get the first glimpse of Ryvoan Bothy.

First glimpse of Ryvoan and Lochan a' Chait

The one roomed Ryvoan Bothy was originally a croft dating from the 18th.century, and abandoned in 1877. It was the birthplace of a well known local character, Grigar Ruighe Bhothan, famed for both his physical strength and his capacity for the locally made strong liquor! It is said that the Creag Dhu club carried out some temporary repairs to prevent it from falling into complete disrepair until it was taken over by the Mountain Bothies Association in 1972.

Ryvoan bothy

We followed the level track in Ryvoan pass, passing An Lochan Uaine on the way.

An Lochan Uaine

It is said that the fairies wash their clothes here, hence the green colour, but the young members of the walking party were more interested in the leeches present in the lochan.

Our trek back was further ‘shortened’ looking for green tiger beetles. We saw four, much to the delight of one wee guy. These run very fast so I didn’t manage to get a photo!

(The photos above are from several ascents over the course of last summer)

3 comments on “A favourite wee hill: Meall a’ Bhuachaille

  1. That’s no good at all. So sorry you had to go through such an ordeal. (…)

    Glad to hear about the native trees.

  2. An Lochan Uaine is beautiful! Such a treasure after a nice hike. Thank you for the travelogue – it was most pleasant and informative! I was wondering how that bothy stayed in such good condition after more than 100 years abandoned, but you explained it for me!

  3. Did this hill earlier in the winter and thoroughly enjoyed the native forest section between Glenmore Lodge and Ryvoan Bothy. Meant to go back in the spring as it must teem with wildlife – but never quite got around to it. Thanks for reminding me Sheila – it’s back on the list again.

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